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Posts tagged with "The Central Nervous System"

  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Alzheimer’s and Infectious Disease: For Real

    I’ve written a couple of times over the years about the idea that Alzheimer’s disease might have an infectious component to it. That’s been proposed many times, but it’s fair to say that it’s never caught on. For one thing, the amyloid hypothesis has always had a lot more going for it. I realize that… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Welcome to Right to Try

    That didn’t take long. That didn’t take long at all. The federal “Right to Try” bill was just signed the other week, and we already have a company that’s willing – no, eager – to try it out. I will now cruelly caricature some of the the bill’s advocates for a moment. They’re imagining cures… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Tecfidera Explained

    One of the more unusual drugs on the market is Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate). I went into its history a bit in this post, if you’re wondering how a molecule that small and unfunctionalized became a multiple sclerosis drug. As that shows, it went into trials for the disease with quite a bit of clinical rationale… Read More
  • The Central Nervous System

    Understanding Antidepressants – Or Not

    I was talking with a colleague the other day who’s done a lot of work on central nervous system disease over the years, and it reminded me of something that I said years ago on this blog (and was the first time I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal). Was that an opinion about… Read More
  • Regulatory Affairs

    Kratom and the FDA

    The FDA has made an announcement about kratom, a plant preparation (Mitragyna speciosa) that (depending on who you ask) is a drug of abuse or a way for people to get off of other drugs of abuse. Specifically, it’s used as a way to mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms, which is reason enough to wonder if it… Read More
  • Biological News

    CRISPR and Axovant: What the Market Thinks

    Let’s go to the NASDAQ for some insight on a couple of recent biopharma stories. First off is Axovant, a company that’s interesting in a number of distressing ways. I last wrote about them here, after their Alzheimer’s candidate came up short in the clinic, which was a development that surprised no one who had… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Expensive Shams Are the Way to Go, Apparently

    Prepare to be weirded out a bit. We’re going to talk about the placebo effect again – actually, we’re going to talk about its evil twin, the nocebo effect. In the same way that a placebo is an inactive/nonexistent agent that people think is doing them good, a nocebo is one that people believe is… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Microbiome Connections to Disease Get Stronger

    A fair amount of what you read about the human microbiome is hype. There’s no way around it. It’s quite difficult to study this area in a meaningful, reproducible way, and even the best work in the area can only go so far, as things stand now. When differences in (say) gut flora are actually… Read More
  • Cancer

    Repurposing Zika

    Oncology drives you to some pretty strange ideas about therapy. But that’s understandable – in what other field are you trying aggressively to kill off parts of the patient’s own body? That’s why chemotherapy started off with the study of people who had been exposed to mustard gas (during the Bari bombing raid), where it… Read More
  • The Central Nervous System

    A New Piece of the Parkinson’s Puzzle

    Here’s some more news on the Parkinson’s front, with a possible risk factor (and possible protective agent) both coming from an unexpected direction. It’s been known for quite a while now that the alpha-synuclein protein is deeply involved in the pathology of the disease – precipitated masses of it are found apparently killi… Read More
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